Upper Clutha Environmental Society president Julian Haworth
believes a resource consent application for a building
platform on land behind him near Lake Wanaka is likely to
be processed by the Queenstown Lakes District Council in
the wrong way. Photo by Mark Price
The Upper Clutha Environmental Society believes the
Queenstown Lakes District Council is denying the public the
chance to have a say on some potentially contentious resource
President Julian Haworth told the Otago Daily Times yesterday
he believed the council was too willing to process
applications as ''non-notified'' rather than ''notified'',
which would require a public hearing.
''The council seems to be under the misapprehension the
change to the notification rules made by the Government in
the past couple of years has made it much easier for them not
to publicly notify resource consent applications.
''They are wrong,'' Mr Haworth said.
''The test is, the effects have to be minor.
''We've got these very stringent assessment methods,
particularly in outstanding natural landscapes, which makes
it almost impossible not to publicly notify an application.''
Mr Haworth claimed the council was ''pro development'' and
not administering the district plan properly.
''I don't see where they see the legitimacy to do this.''
In an email sent to councillors and media, Mr Haworth gave
two examples of resource consents processed as non-notified
that he believed should have been notified.
He also pointed to a resource consent application by the
Sharpridge Trust Ltd for a new building platform in an
outstanding natural landscape alongside Lake Wanaka towards
The council has yet to decide whether the application should
be notified or not. Mr Haworth said if the council accepted
the application as non-notified
it would be effectively approving the resource consent.
''The society believes that there is always going to be a
reasonable likelihood that any new residence located within
an outstanding natural landscape will have adverse effects
that are greater than minor.
''It follows that the application must be publicly
notified,'' Mr Haworth said in his email.
He noted that during the process to determine whether the
application was notified or not, the applicant was able to
present legal submissions and evidence while the public was
''This is a one-sided process.
''It has been the experience of the society that a decision
not to publicly notify almost invariably eventuates and which
at the same time effectively grants consent for the
application, as adverse effects at that point will have been
deemed to be minor.''
Council resource consenting manager Blair Devlin told the ODT
the application from the Sharpridge Trust was received on May
21 and was ''currently on hold awaiting more information from
''The decision on whether or not to publicly notify the
application has yet to be made.
''Planning staff have delegated authority from the council to
decide whether this kind of resource consent application [is]
''If the Upper Clutha Environmental Society is unhappy with
the decision on notification, they can apply to the High
Court for a judicial review.''
Mr Devlin said there was a statutory test to determine
whether or not applications should be notified.
''It would be inappropriate to comment about the Sharpridge
Trust's application, given that the test has not yet been
applied in this case.''
No-one from the trust could be reached for comment yesterday.